So, can cats eat hot dogs?
In short no, cats shouldn’t eat hot dog due to the harmful ingredients it contains. Usually, a hotdog consists of processed meat, cheese, onions, sauces, and spices, which is highly toxic to cats.
The digestive symptom of a cat isn’t designed to process this type of food. The unnecessary amount of salt, fat, sauces, and preservatives used in hotdog can make your cat sick.
Now let’s go in-depth to understand why dog dogs aren’t recommended for cats.
Can Cats Eat Hot Dogs?
Even though a cat is a carnivore and hotdogs contain meat, they’re not the best choice of a protein option for them.
The biggest issue with hot dogs is that they’re typically high in sodium, fat, and spices, and the meat is highly processed with an extreme amount of spices and preservatives, which cats shouldn’t be eating because it’s incredibly harmful to cats.
Cats would be eating meat, fresh and raw. That doesn’t mean you can feed them raw meat every day, nor should you but some of the better cat food options out there closely resemble the sort of meals a cat really craves for.
Is It OK For Cats To Eat Hot Dogs?
No, it’s not OK!
Hot dogs are usually prepared with meat mixed with spices, bun, cheese, and sauces; most of them aren’t suitable for felines and can cause health issues.
What Happens If a Cat Eats A Hot Dog?
Unfortunately, if your cat ingested a tiny amount of hot dogs, they likely to develop slight sickness and might experience upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
But if you are feeding them regularly, it can cause serious health issues. The excessive sodium content of hot dogs will lead to tremors, vomiting, seizures, anxiety, depression, nausea, high blood pressure, and much more.
Besides, hot dogs consist of cheese, mayo, sausage, and ketchup and none of them are suitable for cats.
Ketchup depending on the ingredients can cause digestive issues and if it has garlic, immediately visit your vet.
Cheese, being a dairy product, will likely cause lactose problems; cats, like any other mammal, are lactose intolerant which means when they grow, they slowly lose the enzyme requires to break down the lactose milk or related products.
And then undigested cheese will eventually direct your felines to be gastrointestinal and digestive issues.
My Cat Ate Hot Dog, What Should I Do?
First of all, a tiny bite of hot dog isn’t going to kill your felines, so relax, but that doesn’t mean you can feed them hot dogs occasionally.
The foremost thing you should do is, look for a vet or medical expert to get the best possible treatment without further delay.
If your cat has eaten hotdogs, there are probabilities it would cause them slight distress such as vomiting, bloating, nausea, and digestive issues.
However, the main culprit is the high salt content of hot dogs; keep checking your cats for sodium poisoning, which has the potential to be fatal.
According to PetPoisonHelpline, the symptoms of sodium poisoning you should look for are:
- Extreme thirst
- Anxiety and depression
- And collapse
Thus, if any of the above symptoms are seen in your felines, immediately take your cat to an expert vet. Sodium poisoning is deadly, and it can lead to coma and death in extreme cases.
Why Hot Dogs Isn’t Good For Cats
While cats are carnivores and solely depend on meat, hot dogs aren’t recommended by expert veterinarians or nutritionists.
There are obvious reasons; firstly, the meat used in hot dogs is highly processed, rich in fat, salt, and spices that are not suitable for felines.
Now, let’s go through the ingredients and understand the toxicity of hot dogs.
Sausage is the prime ingredient of a hot dog, but the meat is highly processed, salty, and rich in fat.
While cats are meat-eater, they tend to eat lean, unprocessed, and natural meat. If you feed processed food to your felines, they will struggle to digest it, and the undigested food will lead to digestion issues, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation.
A cat’s digestive system is built to process lean organic meat like pork, chicken, fish, and beef.
The high-fat content in processed meat is the main reason most indoor cats are suffering from obesity because their owner is feeding processed foods to their pet that were never meant to be a part of their diet.
The high fat of hot dogs is another cruel factor that makes it worse food for cats. Being carnivores, cats live relatively on lean animal protein and avoid fats.
The digestive symptom of a feline isn’t designed to process fats. It stores them in their body, which leads to various chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart blockage, obesity, and diabetes.
Thus, it’s best to avoid this type of junk food and give your furball high-quality cat food in their regular diet.
Extreme Sodium Content
High sodium is problematic for humans, and when it comes to cats, it’s more disastrous.
Cats are obligate carnivores, and their body isn’t designed to digest salt as sodium isn’t part of their natural diet.
While humans still can fairly manage a high amount of salt in their diet for a short period, the same thing in a feline’s diet can cause health complications, and if it continues, it can be fatal.
For a short period, if your cat ingested a small amount of sodium, he/she will likely experience dehydration, but it could lead to sodium poisoning in the long term. You may notice sodium poisoning symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, stress, anxiety, tremors, depression, and seizures.
And lastly, it will take the life of your felines if you didn’t do anything within time. So, the best is to avoid this type of food or anything that has sodium in it.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Sodium nitrates and nitrites are used in good quantity to prevent the degradation of the food over time, and it will be safe for more extended periods to be eaten.
While humans have adapted to digest processed food over time, they couldn’t process it as it’s not their part of a regular diet when it comes to felines.
Thus, there is no point risking the life of your feline friend as they won’t be able to process and digest this type of food.
Problem with Toppings
One significant contribution to the flavor of hot dogs is their toppings; commonly used toppings are mustard, relish, garlic, onions, paprika, jalapeño, and mayo.
Most of them are considered toxic for felines, but sodium, garlic, and onion are the main culprit.
Garlic and onion both are from the “Allium family,” and they are vastly toxic for cats. Even a tiny amount of garlic or onion can lead to vomiting, seizure, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, and coughing.
Typically, the toppings are mixed with ketchup, mustard, and spices on the top; both are incredibly high in sodium leading your cat to sodium poisoning, as discussed earlier.
And the mustard is not less either; it can cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal pain, and fever.
Garlic and onion are so toxic that if your cat eats either of the above insignificant amounts, you will immediately have to run to your vet with your felines to save the life of your furball and prevent other complications.
What Are The Healthy Alternatives Instead of Hot Dog?
Once you deny processed food like a hot dog, to maintain the health of your felines, other foods must be held accountable when considering their health.
Keep in mind that cats are carnivores, and their diet should consist of foods rich in vital nutrients required for well functioning and survival.
However, it doesn’t mean you can’t share your food with your feline friend. But while sharing, make sure you check the ingredient list and be certain that it doesn’t contain anything toxic for your cats.
Here are some cat-friendly foods that you can opt for:
Fresh Or Canned Fish – One of the best treats for a cat is fish, either canned or freshly cooked. It’s rich in omega 3 fatty acid contributing to healthy skin and a shiny coat.
However, you shouldn’t feed fish regularly, as it can cause vitamin E deficiency in your cats. And some fish, such as tuna and salmon, contains mercury leading to health complications.
Cooked, Scrambled Eggs – Eggs are another cat-friendly food, but they should be cooked, scramble, or at least boiled.
Raw eggs contain salmonella, and the white part contains a protein called avidin, binding the absorption of vitamin B7, causing sickness. However, cooked eggs are safe, but the outer shell should be entirely removed before serving.
Oatmeal – You might surprise to know, but oatmeal is relatively healthy for cats but should be fed only as a treat.
While cooking oatmeal, especially for cats, use water instead of milk and do not add anything to enhance the flavor. Trust me; cats suffer from lactose intolerance leading to indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, and abdominal pain.
A modest amount of cooked oatmeal is fine and can bring health benefits too but avoid it in large quantities as cats are obligate carnivores and might find it difficult to digest.
To conclude, you shouldn’t feed or let them eat hot dogs by any means. It has a high-level salt content contributing to short and long-term health problems such as vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetites, diarrhea, lethargy, obesity, and even death in some cases.
Thus, there is no need to feed your cat hot dogs; it doesn’t matter what your friends and others are doing. For treating your cat, opt for healthy options such as lean and unprocessed meat, fresh or canned fish, boiled or scrambled eggs, or oatmeal.